Families can be dangerous things.

Title: Cautionary Tales

Cast

Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Stephen Tobolowsky as Bob
Nicholas D’Agosto as West
Kristen Bell as Elle
James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi
Adair Tishler as Molly
George Takei as Kaito Nakamura
David Anders as Adam

Premise

Parkman begins to use his enhanced powers, various characters plays dangerous games in Costa Verde, and Hiro learns the identity of his father’s killer.

High Points

Matt Parkman’s powers are corrupting him, and if the process continues it will be convincing, within character, and believably motivated. We go from a “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” moment with his supervisor to a glimpse of how dangerous he could become. I wish Lucas had handled Anakin half this believably.

Low Point

Too many things happen which serve the story but make little sense in terms of character, motivation, and plausible reality:

  • The characters do any number of things around Costa Verde in broad daylight (take flight, kidnap people off the street) without residents noticing
  • Hiro’s ability to teleport to a specific place and time alters without explanation
  • Bennett takes precautions to ground Elle when he kidnaps her, and disregards same a short while later during far more risky circumstances
  • Young Hiro fails to notice his father’s exact duplicate standing a few feet away.
  • Bennett, who knows the importance of acting in swift, military fashion, announces his intention to kill Bob.
  • Suresh’s motivations do not entirely convince me.1

The Scores

Originality: 3/6.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 4/6. The stories cohere and complement each other quite nicely this week. Several elements (addressed under “Low Points”) damage credibility.

Acting: 5/6. The scenes involving Parkman and those with the Nakamuras showcase some strong performers. Elsewhere, dubious dialogue and sloppy writing continue to affect performance. West asking “Mr. Butler! What are you doing?” did not, however, prompt quite as much laughter as the serendipitous fig leaves in Beowulf.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Cautionary Tales” receives out of 30/42.

Lingering Questions

Okay, if everyone healed regularly through Adamic blood and gained immortality, we would have a population crisis. Furthermore, his long life makes Adam a problematic fellow. I remain unclear as to why this makes him more dangerous than an exploding man, however.

Is Adam the original ancestor of the heroes, as his name (and many a fan) suggests? (I’ve had a similar theory about Wolverine in X-Men, but that’s another matter).

1. People are strange beasts. I’d be willing to overlook this one; I’d be willing to overlook many of these. It’s just that there are too many of these.